2012 an immense year #LTS
2011 was an amazing year but 2012 absolutely blew it away, there have been so many highlights I struggle to remember them myself. I have cooked with some amazing chefs, eaten some immense food and visited some brilliant places.
I have done several dinners outside of Tuddenham mill including 3 Dingley dell flying visits at British larder, Paul Merrett’s The Victoria and the legend Andrew Nutters eponymous restaurant near Manchester. Steven Smith invited me up to his beautiful pub The Freemasons in Wiswell to cook with some high calibre chefs at one of his game nights. Vivek Singh and Abdul Yaseen welcomed me to the Cinnamon Kitchen and allowed me to cook my four course menu for 18 covers on their grill in the restaurant. Alan Picket asked me to cook for IDCF charity at Plateau with two other brilliant chefs. One massive highlight was to be asked by Ashley Palmer-Watts to cook with him and Bruno Loubet for the fantastic Farm Africa charity. I would like to personally thank all the chefs for inviting me to cook alongside them it is very humbling. There are too many other chefs to name but it has been great cooking with them all, it’s a great way to network and share ideas and experiences, also a great way to get pi**ed and let your hair down.
I have been involved with visionary dinning and skills for chefs, two great organisations that have helped me get to know some cool people, new friends and great cooks.
Other career highlights this year are being invited to 10 Downing street (what a crazy bizarre yet brilliant day that was). Appearing on Great British Menu was an extraordinary experience that I would do again in an instance. To compete against Daniel Clifford who I have looked up to since I was a commis chef was an honour. The good food guide placed us in the top 50 restaurants in the UK, and the AA guide gave us 3 Rosettes. It was also a privilege to be asked to put a story into my former boss Sat Bains book but I think Glyn Purnell wins the funniest story prize.
I have had some cracking meals at Alimentum, Casamia, The Bath Priory, The Manor house castle coombe, The Hand and Flowers, and The Square.
Don’t know how I have fitted all of this in whilst being flat out at Tuddenham, changing nearly the whole kitchen team as some guys moved on to other things, and still trying to push forward more and more with the food.
For a chef most of the things I have listed above are money can’t buy experiences, I have been flattered, blown away and humbled by each and every one, but none of it quite compares to marrying my beautiful wife and finding out we are having our first child, the two greatest highlights of 2012 and my life to date.